Now, they're close to finding out how long they'll have to make do without him to start the 2020 season.
German's domestic violence case has "entered its final stages," according to the New York Post, "and a resolution is expected in a matter of weeks rather than months."
German, the Post reports, has yet to meet with MLB officials about the alleged incident on September 16. No police report was filed as a result of the alleged incident, in which German is said to have slapped a woman.
Because of that, MLB has had to conduct its own thorough investigation to determine an appropriate punishment, or lack thereof, for the 27-year-old. Major League Baseball has the right to suspend a player deemed to be in violation of its domestic violence policy regardless of criminal filings.
The suspension was a disappointing end to a fantastic season for German in 2019. The right-hander was forced to earn a starting job in spring training and took off from there, finishing 18-4 with a 4.03 ERA in 143 innings of work.
Domestic violence has become more of a priority -- perhaps it's more correct to say it's become a priority, after being neglected by the league for decades -- in recent years, with a number of high-profile suspensions stemming from domestic incidents. Current Astros closer Roberto Osuna served a 75-game suspension while a member of the Blue Jays in 2018, and Cubs shortstop Addison Russell, former Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes and Mets reliever Jeurys Familia are among those who have been hit with suspensions for their roles in domestic incidents in recent years.
Pre-GM Meetings Whispers
While the GM Meetings aren't usually a hotbed for activity -- that's reserved for next month's Winter Meetings in San Diego -- the rumor mill has picked up in the past few days as teams' interests begin to take shape.
Arguably the biggest-name free agent, Gerrit Cole, could have a suitor in the Padres, according to Sports Illustrated's Michael Shapiro. Cole is expected to be the team's second choice behind hometown boy Stephen Strasburg. The Angels, Yankees, Phillies and Astros are the other teams Shapiro mentions as potential landing spots for Cole this winter.
On the trade front, catching seems to be available for those in need. Multiple teams in search of catching help told ESPN's Jeff Passan that they expect the Cubs to make Willson Contreras available for trade this offseason, and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports that the Blue Jays' catchers have been drawing interest from other teams.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the Phillies have expressed interest in third baseman Josh Donaldson. Donaldson is expected to decline the Braves' one-year qualifying offer and become a free agent next week. The 33-year-old had a terrific 2019 season with the Braves, slashing 259/.369/.509 with 37 homers and 94 RBI. Most importantly, he was able to avoid the disabled list and appear in 155 games. The Rangers have already expressed interest in his services as well, and the Braves are believed to have a desire to re-sign him as well.
Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that "all signs point" toward the Reds making a "serious run" at Yasmani Grandal this offseason. Nightengale also lists Nicholas Castellanos and Marcell Ozuna as potential targets for the Reds.
Read more rumors in the Quick Hits below, and keep up with all the whispers over the next few days on Rotoworld's Player News page.
Quick Hits: Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that the White Sox and Jose Abreu have discussed a long-term contract. It's been no secret that Abreu isn't expected to go anywhere, whether it's as a result of him accepting the White Sox' qualifying offer or inking a long-term deal. While the 32-year-old remained plenty productive in 2019, there probably wouldn't be a ton of interest in him on the open market, so it makes sense to try to remain where he's comfortable ... Marcell Ozuna is very unlikely to accept the Cardinals' one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer. Ozuna, who will turn 29 years old next week, batted .243/.330/.474 with 29 home runs and 89 RBI in 130 games for the Cardinals this year. If he declines the offer he will be a free agent for the first time in his career. He will be attached to potential draft pick compensation, which could depress his market value somewhat, but he still figures to land a lucrative multi-year contract in free agency. Ozuna has stated he would like to remain in St. Louis, although it is likely to cost the team a lot more than $17.8 million to retain his services ... Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports that the Reds have interest in Didi Gregorius. Gregorius came up in the Reds' system and debuted with them back in 2012 before going to the Diamondbacks and then the Yankees in trades. The fit makes sense, as Cincinnati has an opening at shortstop and ownership is reportedly willing to spend on free agents this winter. Gregorius was not given a qualifying offer by the Yankees ... The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reports the Reds are among the teams interested in free agent utilityman Howie Kendrick. Kendrick had himself a strong 2019 season and capped it off with a postseason in which he hit .286/.328/.444 and was the NLCS MVP. That showing has created a good deal of interest in the 36-year-old's services, with the Rays and Marlins also showing interest in the early days of the offseason. Rosenthal says that while the list is growing, nothing is close to being done at this point. In the days after the World Series, Kendrick indicated the 2020 season will likely be his last ... Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that Drew Pomeranz is a "hot name in the relief market." Passan expects Pomeranz to land "a multiyear deal at a strong AAV." Pomeranz's move to the bullpen looks like it could be a career-changer, as he posted a dominant 2.39 ERA with 45 strikeouts over 26 1/3 innings in relief ... Orioles starter Alex Cobb (knee, hip) is expected to be ready to pitch when spring training starts. Cobb lasted just three starts into the 2019 season before going down with a back injury. While recuperating from the sore back he underwent surgeries on his hip and knee. The Orioles need Cobb to anchor their rotation and provide veteran leadership to their rebuilding young team. Cobb is quite capable of being more than an innings-eater when healthy -- he has a career 3.85 ERA in 146 starts with the Rays and Orioles over the past nine years. Cobb has two years and $29 million remaining on his contract ... Braves re-signed RHP Darren O'Day to a one-year, $2.25 million contract with a $3.5 million club option for 2021. O'Day has been limited to just 28 appearances over the last two seasons due to hamstring and forearm injuries, but he pitched well down the stretch of the regular season and NLDS. The veteran reliever turned 37 last month.